One of the best ways to market nanotechnology is to share a story of a real business solving real problems.
I mean, isn’t that what your prospects and customers really want to see?
How you solved a similar problem for someone else.
Well, a terrific way to do this is through a case study (also known as a customer success story).
Because that’s what a case study is. It’s a story about how you solved a problem for your customer and the results the customer is now enjoying thanks to your solution.
That is, of course, if you strip away all the marketing lingo and buzzwords.
Case study conundrums
A big mistake marketers make in this type of copywriting is that they think they’re writing a sales piece. And they take that as a blank cheque to load it up with all sorts of marketing jargon.
Now we all know that a case study is a marketing tool. But the telling of a story is key here.
Loading the story with marketing buzzwords is not the right way to create a case study and it pretty much defeats the entire purpose.
But…you know what’s worse than filling a case study from top to bottom with marketing and sales talk?
It’s filling a case study from top to bottom with technical mumbo jumbo.
Scientific and high-tech marketers obviously need to worry about this more than marketers in less technical arenas. So as a serious nanotechnology marketer, this means you need to pay attention.
One of the things that really grinds my gears about marketing nanotechnology is the mindset that you need to throw technical information at your prospects during each phase of your sales cycle.
Just because you’re marketing a technical product or service does not mean that you should pack your marketing communications with endless technical features.
Case study solutions
If you remember one thing from this issue, make it this:
stress the benefits in your case study, not the features
Case study expert Casey Hibbard suggests putting the most important technical details and specifications in a “technology snapshot” sidebar.
That way, they don’t break the flow of the story and scientists and engineers can still see the required technical features if they need to.
She also says that this allows you to address the problem of writing for both business and technical audiences.
The business folk get what they need from a well-crafted story that shares the benefits of a particular solution. At the same time, the technical crowd can get their technical needs met from the technology sidebar.
This means you don’t have to create two separate case studies, saving you time and money. Everybody wins!
One other thing
One other area where I see this is with the application note.
An application note is like a case study offshoot, in that it typically demonstrates how a research group used a particular solution. This usually means that it’s based off an academic publication.
It often follows a format similar to the case study. Problem – solution – results.
Now, writing an application note like this isn’t a mistake necessarily.
But they tend be dry and stuffy because they don’t have any customer quotations, they’re not written with a journalistic style and contain way too much technical jargon.
Nanotech companies can do a much better job if they write their application notes more like a case study.
And this isn’t difficult. Simply include one or two customer quotes, remove the technical jargon (or include the features as a sidebar as mentioned above), and write it in story format.
This will turn a boring technical application note into an attention-grabbing case study.
Taking the time to get your case studies right is worth the effort, as they’re one of the most effective marketing tools out there.
After all, what marketing tool is better than a satisfied customer?
Next week, we’ll talk more about the systems approach to nanotech marketing. This is where it gets interesting because with a proper system in place, your marketing does the work for you 24/7.
All the best,
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